Let Them Eat Cake
By John Morgan
Until a few years ago, like most Americans, I knew very little about Sweden, apart from what I picked up through Strindberg and Ingmar Bergman films.
However, since I began working for Arktos, where most of my colleagues are Swedish, they will often regale me with tales about the multicultural, ethnomasochistic nightmare that their country has become. Their latest story, however, which has been receiving quite a bit of attention on the Internet, takes the cake – literally.
Last Sunday, April 15, the Swedish Minister of Culture, Lena Liljeroth, was invited to cut a cake to honor the 75th anniversary of the Swedish Artists’ Federation at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm. That in itself sounds innocuous, until one sees the cake.
The cake itself was designed in the shape of an African tribal woman. In the “head” of the cake was an “Afro-Swedish” “performance artist” – I apologize for using so many quotation marks, but the irony is thick here – by the name of Makode Aj Linde, who would scream in mock pain whenever someone would cut into the cake. It turns out that this cake was intended to make Swedes more aware of the evils of female circumcision in Africa. The first piece was cut by the Minister herself, who proceeded to cut out a piece from the cake’s “naughty bits” (Linde himself referred to it as the cake’s “vagaga”) and feed it to Linde, apparently whispering, “Your life will be better after this,” to him as she did so.
Photos of the “performance” can be found on Facebook (under World Art Day), and a short video of it can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCK6zvWEN_Q
Needless to say, as soon as the story reached the Swedish media, many began accusing the Minister of racism, with some calling for her to resign, including the African Swedish National Association. It seems unlikely that she will, however, since, after all, the event was for a “good cause,” and the artist who came up with the idea is himself African, effectively neutralizing any possible objection which might arise, under the logic of multiculturalism. This didn’t stop the Museum from getting closed down on Tuesday when an English-speaking caller who contacted the institution said that he had planted a bomb in their building, in retaliation for their racism.
The bizarreness of this incident only proves how far the ideas of multiculturalism have infected our civilization. I say our civilization, since I could well imagine this same event happening, with the same result, in America. What immediately struck me about it is how closely it comes to what many liberals imagine those of us on the “radical Right” do in our spare time. (Recall the scene where a group of Whites hunt a Black man for sport in the 1988 film, Betrayed.) Yet here we have the supposed guardians of multiculturalism among the Swedish political and artistic elite indulging in the worst racial stereotypes imaginable (an African “tribal” woman, lying helpless while a crowd of rich White people torture her, cannibalize her and giggle), apparently contradicting the worldview they claim to uphold.
There are strong neo-colonialist overtones to this event which mark it as merely a continuation of the arrogance inherent in the ideology of multiculturalism as a whole. As Alain de Benoist eloquently explains in his book Beyond Human Rights, Western nations have made it their task in recent decades to rid the world of all injustice and evil, not just at home but throughout the world. This is why we bomb and invade countries these days in the name of protecting other peoples from their own governments. However, the very standards of Western liberalism arose from the very specific historical and cultural conditions of the West – therefore, is not the idea of enforcing an abstract set of Western “values” through military and economic force upon non-Western nations itself an imperialistic act? Certainly it is.
In the history of Western empires, the Romans and British, among others, conquered and ruled other peoples with the goal of exploiting them. But the fact is, they made little attempt to impose their values on these peoples – that wasn’t their primary goal. Today, however, liberals — I use that term in the broadest sense, to include both Republicans and Democrats, since in foreign policy there is little difference between them — want to reshape all the nations of the world to fit their idea of how they ought to be. Therefore, imperialism in the guise of multiculturalism and international law today, both military and commercial, is far more insidious and destructive than anything ever imagined in earlier times.
It is the essentially imperialistic nature of multiculturalism that causes these Swedish politicians and artists to appreciate the quaintness of a cake in the form of a stereotypical African woman. How nice those tribal women will be when they’re dancing for us, demonstrating their traditions to us vacuous European culture vultures! Let’s just get rid of that nasty genital mutilation, which we don’t like, and then everything will be fine, and they’ll look nice when we can watch them on the National Geographic channel, free from guilt. That is the ultimate goal of multiculturalism: to turn the world into a theme park, where we can “appreciate” the culture of others, as well as our own cultural past, like museum pieces, with anything in them that might threaten the prevailing ideology safely removed.
Guilt is an additional key to what is going on here. This event demands the question: why is it the duty of Swedes to worry about the fate of African genitalia at all? Unfortunately, it is perfectly consistent with the insane logic of Swedish multiculturalism as it has been explained to me by Swedes. Whether one agrees with its rationale or not, at least multiculturalism in the United States has some basis in reality, given its history of slavery and the treatment of the Native Americans. But Sweden is a country which never had any colonies and never had slavery. They haven’t even been involved in a war since Napoleon, unless one counts loaning some soldiers once in a while to join United Nations expeditions.
So what do Swedes have to feel guilty about? That’s a good question. As it’s been explained to me, apparently the very fact that Sweden is part of “the West,” and therefore part of the civilization which is responsible for all the evils of the world, is enough to make liberal Swedes loathe their own culture enough to feel the need to make things right for Africans – who are pouring in at the rate of 100,000 per year, into a country which only has a population of 9 million, approximately 2 million of which are already of non-Swedish origin. After all, how better to atone for the sins of one’s people than to welcome the tempest-tossed in with open arms? There’s nothing worth saving at home, anyway, right?
I could also comment on how a stunt such as this could be termed “art” in the first place, but most “modern art” ceased to be anything of value long ago, and that’s a theme for another essay. Most people accept it as an axiom these days, anyway.
How anyone who planned this event, including the Minister, could have thought it was a wise idea is beyond comprehension, and proves that they are either incredibly stupid, or else completely out of touch with reality, much like our own liberal elites. Apparently, the mere fact that a piece of art flatters one’s ideological preconceptions (anything done in the name of helping African women is good) makes it all right, no matter how ridiculous. The one thing that gives me some hope is the fact that everyone witnessing the “performance” in the video is laughing. On some level, perhaps they recognized how absurd this nightmarish dream of multiculturalism really is. If they did, then there might still be hope yet that they could wake up and return to sanity.
Morgan, John. “Let Them Eat Cake.” Counter-Currents Publishing, 19 April 2012. <http://www.counter-currents.com/2012/04/let-them-eat-cake/ >.